Helping close the gap

The annual Closing the Gap Family Sports Day will return for a seventh year.

By Jed Lanyon

Closing the health gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians is a key priority for Eastern Health, whose annual family sports day will return to showcase some of the best Indigenous sporting talent in Melbourne’s east.

Eastern Health is putting the call out for more players, officials and support staff to get involved to help put together another great day for the seventh consecutive year.

The Closing the Gap sports day will feature football and netball competitions as locals are invited to come along and cheer the teams on, enjoy Aboriginal dance, face painting, a petting zoo, running races, giveaways and much more.

Eastern Health executive Shannon Wright said, “It’s a wonderful opportunity for staff and the community to connect with respect, build relationships, and break down the barriers for those seeking healthcare in our community.”

Following last year’s event, Eastern Health’s Aboriginal hospital liaison officer, Jo Voce told the Mail, “Our sports day is part of our broader commitment to closing the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-indigenous Australians,”

“Many people in our community find hospitals and health services daunting. Their fear can be a barrier to seeking healthcare,” Ms Voce said.

“Days like this show the community that doctors, nurses and other health professionals are real people. They are not scary, and they have a range of ways they can help improve your health in a really safe, welcoming environment.”

Eastern Health has a range of initiatives in place to help close the health gap, and have been working towards improving health outcomes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community for a number of years.

“We are very excited to be hosting this event for the seventh time which is shaping up to be a great day for everyone. It’s a wonderful opportunity for staff and the community to connect with respect, build relationships, and break down the barriers for those seeking healthcare in our community”.

– Shannon Wight, Eastern Health Executive.

The closing the Gap Family Sports Day will take place on Sunday 1 March at Healesville’s Don Road Sporting Complex from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

For more information about the event, visit https://bit.ly/324RzJu.

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